Are you a Lived Expert entrepreneur? Be featured on CAFC’s Youth-led Business Directory.

The Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada (CAFC) is giving the opportunity to all youth entrepreneurs with lived experience in the child welfare system to promote their businesses.

CAFC will be launching a directory of youth-led businesses at Stand Up For Kids Night – our annual recognition night – on June 20 that will be shared with supporters, donors, allies and other youth.

To submit your business for inclusion in the directory, please complete this form: https://lnkd.in/giDZ4-Wu. Click the link to submit your business or feel free to email cloc@cafdn.org if you have questions.

Free Application for Indigenous Applicants at Red River College in June

Any application submitted at Red River College (RRC) between June 1 and June 30 will have the application fee waived for all First Nations, Métis and Inuit applicants. All programs and all intakes are eligible for only one free application. Additional applications will be subject to the normal fees.

Before applying, you should review the program admission requirements, as well as the program start date, location and fees. If you need any help you can contact our Indigenous Admissions Advisor (Weeshengaawin) or email indigenous.advisor@rrc.ca.

You will be able to apply online through an RRC Polytech account. You can work on your application over several sessions, upload required documents, view your final application and more. You can start your online application here, https://apply.rrc.ca/.

You can also apply in person at one of the Student Service Centres. You can check the locations of the centres here, https://www.rrc.ca/services/student-service-centres/.

RRC Polytech offers 150 programs. You can explore the different programs here, Results : RRC Polytech: Program Explorer.

New process for submitting payments for Manitoba student loans

The Governments of Canada and Manitoba have integrated some of the administration of their student loan programs. For Manitoba Student Aid (MSA) borrowers, this means that the loan disbursement and repayment of Manitoba student loans are now managed by the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC). Students will continue to submit new student loan applications, requests for reassessments and appeals for funding to MSA as that part of the MSA program is not changing.

Please note that MSA is no longer accepting payments for Manitoba student loans. Please visit the NSLSC website to learn how you can continue repayment of your Manitoba Student Loan.

For further information, please check out the link here: Frequently Asked Questions about the Canada-Manitoba Integrated Student Loan.

Join OCAC for the 6th Provincial Day of Learning – Youth in Care Day


#LetsCelebrate! Ontario Children’s Advancement Coalition’s SIXTH ANNUAL SIGNATURE Children and Youth in Care Day event is MAY 14, 2024! This annual Provincial Day of Learning is an event that provides us with an opportunity to listen to Experts (both First Voice and Critically Allied).

This year will continue the annual theme, “FIVE14FUTURES: Across Our Lifetime” with a focus on Equitable Standards in Ontario, and across Canada. This annual event is sponsored by the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada!

As always, this year we have an amazing line up of speaker from the Youth in/from “Care” communities, and allied experts. Two musicians/artists will open and close this anchor event on Ontario’s Youth In Care Day – let’s support Indigenous and lived expert artists!

FAYTH, who is an Indigenous artist from Wiikwemikoong First Nation, is a 2023 recipient of the Neebin’s Music Fund (Neebin’s family, FN Caring Society, and inPath created fund to honour Neebin Armstrong’s memory). Fayth is being sponsored by the First Nations Caring Society of Canada!

ROSE JONES, who is a musician with lived expertise of the child “welfare” system in Ontario, who is currently working on their first full album!! Rose Jones is being sponsored by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies!

The event will be from 11:45AM-1:45PM, and you can listen in while you have lunch or getting work done. This is a FREE VIRTUAL event streamed LIVE from Facebook. Like and Follow to get notification of the event! Click here: https://lnkd.in/gF7n2XV.

RSVP Link! RSVPs will be private to protect the accounts of people! https://fb.me/e/5WSTKFDR7

This year there will also be an exciting announcement in collaboration with Cindy Blackstock!

Let’s honor, commemorate, and celebrate youth in/from care, across our lifetime! Check out the lineup! Please share! 

Thank You,
Cheyanne Ratnam, BSW;MSW


Recruiting Former Youth in Care for Research Study on Career Development Experiences

Researchers at the University of Calgary are conducting a study on the career experiences of young adults who aged-out of foster care, kinship care, or community-based care in Canada. The study is called ‘What Helps and Hinders in the Pursuit of Career Success?’.

To be eligible to participate in this study, you need to:
• Be between the ages of 18 to 29
• Have previously spent at least two years in foster care, kinship care, or community-based care in Canada
• Have aged-out of care in Canada
• Self-identify as doing well in your career development

If you are interested in participating then you will be asked to:
• Complete a short demographic questionnaire
• Participate in up to three interviews where you will be asked to share your career development experiences; Interviews will be conducted 1-on-1 virtually or in-person.

To express gratitude for contributing to this research you will be provided with a $15 e-gift card for participating in interview one, another $15 e-gift card for participating in interview two, and also a $10 e-gift card for participating in interview three.

If you have any questions or if you would like to participate in this study, please contact Ashlee Kitchenham at ashlee.kitchenham@ucalgary.ca

The University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board has approved this study [REB23-1099].

Recruitment for study on lived experiences of former children and youth in care is now open.

The International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) aims to conduct a research study to explore intergenerational relationships, lived experiences of former children and youth who aged out of the Ontario child welfare system, and child welfare policy and practices.

The research question of the study is: “How Do Intergenerational Relationships among People with Lived Experiences in the Ontario Child Welfare System Influence Child Welfare Policies and Practices?”

To be eligible for the study, you need to be:

  • a resident of Canada.
  • have lived experiences in the Child Welfare System of Ontario; and
  • be 18 years old or older.

Participants are still eligible to participate in the research study if they are still receiving financial support from child protection agencies.

If you meet these requirements, the ICCRP invites you to participate in a semi-structured virtual interview that will be no more than 60 minutes long. Your participation will involve:

  • communicating with research assistants via email about your availability for the interview.
  • disclosing personal information to demonstrate your eligibility (e.g. your age, if you are a resident of Canada or not, lived experience in the Child Welfare system of Ontario); and
  • attending a one-hour virtual (audio)/phone interview with the research team and answering study questions.

If you are interested in volunteering in the study, ICCRP will send you another email at least two weeks before the interview date with information about the research study and a consent form. You will have time to let them know if you have any questions. If you agree to participate by signing and returning the consent form, ICCRP will forward the interview questions along with a list of mental health and emotional support resources.

Your participation is completely voluntary. No financial compensation will be provided but will have opportunities to engage in other ICCRP activities if you consent to being contacted in future. If you participate, your identity will not be shared with others outside of the research team. You have the right to withdraw voluntarily from participation or parts of participation at any time without providing any reasons.

The research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC) and has been reviewed and approved by the Toronto Metropolitan University Research Ethics Board Reference ID 2023-057. You can learn more about the research study by clicking this infographic, ICCRP Overview Infographic August 2023 (torontomu.ca).

If you are interested in more information about the study or would like to volunteer, please contact Jessie Lynn Cross at jessielynncross@torontomu.ca or you can choose to contact Tara Collins by email tara.collins@torontomu.ca or call 416-979-5000, ext. 554563.

Applications open for Ontario’s Indigenous Internship Program

The Indigenous Internship Program (IIP) is a paid 12-month program that will provide recent Indigenous post-secondary graduates with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience with the Ontario Public Service (OPS).

Indigenous interns will contribute their knowledge, experiences, values, and perspectives to influence organizational policies, programs, and services.

IIP interns will:

  • receive full-time employment for up to 1 year
  • earn a competitive salary
  • develop their skills and gain valuable work experience
  • receive mentoring, coaching and learning opportunities
  • develop valuable professional contacts

To be eligible, you must:

  • self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis or Inuit)
  • have graduated from a college or university with a diploma, degree or post-graduate certificate within the past five years (that is, May 2019 – August 2024)
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada
  • be a resident of Ontario during the term of employment

OPS offers a wide range of Indigenous internship positions, which may cover the following areas:

  • communications
  • financial management
  • human resources
  • Indigenous relations
  • policy
  • program and service delivery

To apply to the various internship positions, visit the Indigenous Internship job board here: https://www.gojobs.gov.on.ca/Preview.aspx?Language=English&JobID=193787

Get involved with OACAS: Opportunities for youth from and in care.

  1. The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is recruiting for youth 13 – 18 years of age (and up to 21 years) for the YouthCAN Provincial Youth Advisory Committee (YPYAC). The application link is enclosed & can also be found here.
  2. YouthCAN is also in need of some folks who would like to be a part of a small committee (made up of former YAC youth, YouthCAN Champions and other child welfare and OACAS staff) to review their YPYAC applications. If this is you, please email David Lewis-Peart directly at dlewispeart@oacas.org to confirm your interest. Reviews will take place between March 15th – 31st.
  3. OACAS and Project Outsiders are set to co-host a FREE, online workshop with guest presenter Jama Maxie on Saturday March 23, 1-4PM. The workshop is entitled, InspHire Virtual Learning Session: Public Speaking Skills for Youth from Care and is open for registration for up to 30 youth between the ages of 16 and 23 years of age with lived experience in the child welfare system in Ontario. Please RSVP through the flyer above. This is filling up fast!

Recruitment open for YouthCAN Provincial Youth Advisory Committee (YPYAC) at OACAS

The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) is recruiting youth 13-18 years of age for their YouthCAN Provincial Youth Advisory Committee (YPYAC). The recruitment launched at their February 15th YouthCAN Town Hall and will remain open until March 15th. The application link is enclosed & can also be found here.

The YPYAC is a voluntary committee made up of 12 youth from across Ontario, with 2 youth representing each of the 6 zones (Central, Eastern, Southwest, Grand River, Northern, and Northeast).  

The purpose of the YPYAC is to use their youth voices to make recommendations to the Ontario child welfare sector about:  

  • The development and delivery of provincial programs for youth in and transitioning from the Ontario child welfare system.  
  • Advocacy to improve the experiences of children and youth in and from care. 

The YPYAC will be supported by the Youth Services Analyst and the work of the YouthCAN Champion Network Group and Executive.  

Eligible youth should: 

  • Be primarily between 13-18 years old (with allowance for up to 21 years of age)  
  • Have lived experience in the Ontario child welfare system.  
  • Be interested in volunteering to use their voice to make a difference.  
  • Have good communication skills or are interested in building those skills.  
  • Be able to commit to the time required for the YPYAC.  
  • Be willing to complete the necessary training (i.e. 3-day, virtual Youth4Change Orientation)  
  • Be able to work respectfully with other youth and adults in a group setting.  

All submissions will be reviewed by a committee including OACAS and member agency staff and former YPYAC members.

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will be considered based on the strength of their responses and their ability to commit to the expectations of the role. OACAS seeks members who represent the wide diversity of youth in care and across the zones.  

Important YPYAC Dates 

February 15th    YPYAC recruitment launched, and online submissions opened for youth to apply.    
February 15th – March 15th   Online submissions remain open for youth applications.   
March 15th   Online submissions close.   
March 15th – 31st Applications are reviewed and final decisions made about selections.   
March 31st   All selected youth to be notified by email and/or phone and information package sent.   
April 6th, 13th, 20th   Youth4Change Orientation Days 1-3 will be held with onboarded youth virtually.    
May 9th*   In-person team building day in advance of Child and Youth In Care Day (CYICD)   

Honorariums are provided for those selected as YPYAC members and who regularly attend and engage in scheduled meetings.  

Questions related to the application can be directed to, David Lewis-Peart, Youth Services Analyst, at dlewispeart@oacas.org or by phone 437-230-2051.  

B.C. Provincial Tuition Waiver Program Promotional Materials

As part of StudentAid BC’s expansion of the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program (PTWP) for former B.C. youth in care in 2023, they have shared a set of promotional materials to help increase awareness and access to the program.

The following promotional materials are now available:

✔️  8.5×11 inch poster for your office poster boards
✔️  Graphic for sharing on your social media channels
✔️  Digital sign for digital displays
✔️  YouTube video highlighting StudentAid BC programs for Former Youth in Care
✔️  Rack card to share with former children and youth in care you are connected with (sample below)

The poster, social media graphic and digital sign can be downloaded via the links above and are available on the Forms Library on the StudentAid BC website.

High quality versions of the poster and rack card are both available for order (free of charge). Complete this order form and submit by March 8, 2024, and the requested materials will be mailed to the addressee in Spring 2024.

Feel free to share this email and links with your networks to help former B.C. children and youth in care learn about and access the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program.

If you have any questions related to the above information, please contact tuitionwaiver@gov.bc.ca.